tv Mary Jennings Hegar Discusses Shoot Like a Girl CSPAN May 21, 2017 8:02am-9:06am EDT
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>> tonighting we have m.j. hegar with her book, "shoot like a girl" that details her time in afghanistan -- [cheers and applause] and her fight to eliminate the military's ground combat exclusion policy which kept female armed service members from officially serving in combat roles. shelys in austin with her -- lives in austin with her family and gives back to herral that matter by mentoring cadets. she continues to speak about her fight for increased military effectively through equality. we are so pleased to have her tonight, so without further ado, m.j. hegar. [cheers and applause] >> thank you so much. and thank you to book people. you guys have been so wonderful and warm.
i keep telling everybody, wherever you bought your book, return it and buy it from book people. thank you all so much to. be i am so nervous right now because i'm speaking to a wunsch of people who -- bunch of people who i know and love and respect, many of whom who are toastmasters. so i would ask you to not evaluate this speech. [laughter] i'm just blown away by how many people are here, and i kind of just want to the save the time to one on one with everybody, but my mom wanted me to speak for, like, an hour. someone else told me be brief, be funny be, be seated. so i'm going to try to find somewhere in between those two. [laughter] so i'm going to read a short excerpt from the book, and then i'm going to talk for six or seven minutes, and then we'll get to the signing. a brief disclaimer before i get to this story. i don't want to give away the punchline. maybe i should do that afterwards, because like i said, i don't want to give away the
punchline. i don't know if -- goodness, i lost my place here. it's already going so well. [laughter] all right. so at this point i have gone through pilot training, i've gone through my first set of deployments, and i'm flying with the california air national guard. toward the end of the two month be operation that i was talking about in the book briefly, we were all looking forward the an upcoming break where most of us planned to spend time at home. california was experiencing one of the worst wildfire seasons in history, so before we were able to leave, we were immediately retasked from the marijuana eradication task we were pulled on and retasked with helping firefighters protect homes and forests. we'd been fighting to protect the same forest out of which we had just been spot marijuana. the smoke was so spinning, we couldn't rely on vision app loan.
in order to be able to see each other, our maintenance crews had to mark up our camouflage helicopters with hot pink and orange paint. it was quite a sight to see. along with the three-foot-tall pink j94 painted on our belly. for large operations such as this, we would augment our core team with air crew i from the rest of the squadron, so my crew included reese hunt and our squadron's director of operations. the second in command behind our squadron commander. steve was the flight engineer on the day we got shot down. matt was our experienced gunner. his call sign was blue as in you're my boy, blew, from the movie "old school." he was always quick to smile. the four four of us were kept taught as a crew. the locals, it appeared, were just as mad at us on these missions, they were angry with
us on the marijuana eradication missions because we were increasing the cost of their positive, so they were just as mad at us because we were dipping out of their ponds. the way that it works is that fire fighters on the ground tell us where they want to drop the water. we toast our butts a little bit in heat in order to drop water next to an active fire. reese was an excellent aircraft commander. instead of doing everything himself, he knew he had a young co-pilot who was eager for experience. that was me. one day he let me take the controls, and while we were filling our water bucket -- so the aircraft hovers down over the water and fills the bucket and slowly pulls back up. as i flew the helicopter over the water source, i could hear the back enders calling out 20
feet, 15, 10, 5, 4, 3, 2, hold, filling, hold. okay, start back up x. that was at the point where the bucket was at the top of the water. at this point i started to slowly lift the bird up, and this is a rather delicate operation. you're asking a lot of your engines to lift this much extra weight, and at the higher elevations, this can be a recipe for tsa. in the event of power loss, both pilots are ready to hit the dump switch. reese was carefully guarding the controls as i was on the dip. there's some language here that i'm going to skip. who the f is this guy? [laughter] at 12:00, steve called out. as i breathed evenly trying to hold the perfectly stable hover and slow climb while keeping all parts of the aircraft out of the water. if i crept forward, i would have to correct backward which would put the tail lower than the nose. it was incredibly dangerous if you weren't holding a very solid
hover. i saw an angry, bearded, middle-aged man on a quad bike yelling at us from a small hill. this put him at eye level with us. either he was mad at us because we at some point had confiscated his weed or he was pissed we were taking water in the middle of a drought. he could throw something at us, and we'd end up drowning in this 20-foot deep s-h-i-t hole -- there's kids present. [laughter] all because we were trying to save his house. transitioning forward, i announced as i slowly pushed the stick forward to give the engines more power. unfortunately, the lunatic was directly in our traffic lane, our takeoff lane as the trees around us precluded a different track, so we'd have to fly right over -- fly right over him. oh, shit, water's away.
i glanced over at reese, and he had an expression on his face of, uh-oh. somebody had accidentally tripped the bucket switch because the guy on the quad had just gotten 200 gallons of water. [laughter] finish from the back i hear, haha we got you, you f-er. [laughter] steve shouted to the uproar yous laughter, gosh, i read this book in a four month compressed time, and it's all coming back to me now. [laughter] he began, yeah, let's go find another place to dip. we all had a good chuckle, and we began looking for another pond. we flew off and found another place. with a new bucket full of water, we flew back into the action. it wasn't uncommon to get a bit overheated after 12 hours spent roasting over a campfire. that day we were flying as low as we safely could enroute to our spot.
we saw a large tree on fire on a hill to our left x i don't even know if everything had burned down, but the 70-foot tree stood at least 30 feet above everything around it and was completely engulfed in flames. i was surprised that blue hadn't said anything behind me, but about three seconds later he started coughing loudly. okay, that was too close, he stated. i thought hi visor was going to melt. reese glanced at me. we weren't used to the effect of the aircraft and the i crew of flying on this side of the fire, and we had been concentrating on flying high enough above it, so the fact that it was on our side we weren't prepared for. >> yeah, let's not do that again, he said. at the end of the day, we smelled like chainsmokers. sometimes we'd hit a drive-through on the way back, and usually we all just wanted a
shower and a decent night's sleep. but about three days in we started having a lot her fun. we were becoming firefighters. before long we felt like we could identify different areas of the forest as each unique type of tree burned briefly. wow, i explained one morning, this smells like crap. i hope we're not over a trash site. i hope there aren't any animals down there, reese added. it sort of smells like a skunk. [laughter] finish you people in austin got that a lot faster than i did. [laugher] great, steve piped in. that'll really help me score with the front desk chick. oh sure, steve, like it's the smoke that's keeping you from getting lucky. [laughter] whatever you these to tell yourself. we all laughed and the intellect of the day pretty much went downhill from there as we traded jabs and laughed at one another, we even started giving the other pilots crap when they would hit
bingo fuel before us and would have to return to the airport. your skill doesn't determine your fuel flow, but it was -- [inaudible] we may even have pushed it a little too much ourselves, flying until we were running on fumes. eventually, it was time the to drive back to the motel. on the drive home, blew -- blue pointed out a dine or, and we all jumped at the chance. i began feeling like maybe the heat exhaustion was getting to us. everybody was laughing, uncomfortably giggling, and we devoured our dinner, ordered more food, eyeing the pies in the glass case. we began texting other crews trying to see who could join the party. we were having way too good a time. eventually, reese thought it would be funny to start texting our squadron commander. no one seemed to realize this wasn't a great idea.
we started ribbing him just as hard as each other, then he hit us with a sobering response. i glanced down at my phone, and what i read just about made me lose hi dinner. i looked at reese and realized he had gotten the same text. are you guys high, the text said. i think we're going to test your whole crew when you get back. as military aviators, we did not have experience with this because the -- we get tested every 90 days or so. we looked at each other for about three second in terror until reese let out a -- [laughter] and began laughing his ass off. we laughed at the ridiculous session, and then i stopped laughing. oh, my god, we were all high. the fire must have been a cannabis field and a good sized one. we told blue and steve, and they shook their heads in disbelief. none of us had any experience, so we all started looking around at each other.
oh, crap, i murmured. steve's eyes are bloodshot. steve's eyes are always bloodshot. he was right, of of course. i was just glad to have finally experienced it, and i couldn't have picked a better group of guys to hit it with than good old jolly 9-4. and later i realized that drugs are bad and -- [laughter] hugs, not drugs. that's right. [applause] should have prescreened that story a little bit. so i've been speaking for about seven years, as i mentioned, and i always tell variations on the same story, and it's the story of the shootdown. but i have to be honest with you, that story is all of chapter eight, and it takes way too long, and i really don't want to keep you guys here that long. it's going to be a long line for
signing, i think. so that story has a lot of lessons, a lot of leadership lessons in the it, and usually it's about how to change the world, and i look out at the crowd and i just simply can't give that speech because you guys are all so -- i just respect you so much, and you're all already so accomplished. i just had a speech last night this denver, and i was talking to a bunch of college students, and i can talk to them. i apologize this advance, because this is a difficult thing for me to talk about. so i'm going to try to thought shell it for you. i'm going to tell you a different story. it's a summer night in 2007, it's my first deployment. we're all playing xbox, it's 2:00 in the morning. all of a sudden our radios go off and we've been called out on a medevac. we're in afghanistan. did i say that? so we get into the aircraft, we tart taxiing out, and we start getting more details coming over the radio. and that's hi baby crying. -- my baby crying.
and it's causing a physiological response. [laughter] poor guy. so we start getting more details over the radio, and we hear we're going into an area that's incredibly hot, they're going to launch two apaches with us which is not normal: they donnell do that when we're -- only do that when we're going out into the worst areas. and we're going out to save a 3-year-old local national who had some lung burns because he had walked in on his dad making a bomb, and the ferrettizer and chemicals in the be air burned his lungs. clearly, we were willing to go into anything to save of this particular life. when you're launching to save a kid, it's a little different. and, you know, we start up the rotors, and you can feel the rotors pulsing, and it's kind of, you know, it's similar to how i the crew is feeling, you know? the crew is kind of not very jovial, not joking around like we normally are. some people try to crack are
jokes, it's just not landing, and we realize this is going to be a really tough mission. we head out. we come in for a landing. we're on night vision goggle landing which for some of my veterans in the audience know that's one of the worst things. you don't want to do that. you'd rather get shot at. we execute a good landing, we get on the land safely, deploy our medics, and now it's time to sit and wait for them to bring the patient back. and i'm on night vision goggles, so you don't have a lot of peripheral vision, but i do see some movement in the corner of my goggles, so i turn and i look. and we're stepping through checklists, and there's never down time, there's never silence. but i announce to the crew what i see, and there's silence in the cockpit. i see a mob of people starting to form in this very unfriendly town. and they're pointing at us and talking to each other. and then they start walking
toward us, and then they start running toward us, and then the mob's getting bigger as they pass huts and people are coming out, and this is more and more people, and now they're running at us, okay? this is the worst possible scenario because we don't want to pick up and leave because we're trying to save someone's life, we don't want to hurt anybody, and honestly they could be coming because they're like, what is that? some people haven't seen a car, let alone a helicopter. and in the aircraft with me are hi brothers and sisters that i would die for. so worst of all possible scenarios. i wreak break the silence and tell the apaches what i see, and they confirm that's what they're seeing as well. and as i kind of hold hi breath, i see this apache come through and just buzz them at, like, 10 feet, you know? you can hear like the cartoon record, you know, needle off the record. everybody just kind of stops x it was the perfect show of
force, because it didn't hurt anybody, but it showed them, hey, we've got some apache guys with us. this is why i always buy army guys drinks when i meet them. if you were coming to hurt us, you probably want to rethink that. they loaded the patient, you know, and we took off uneventfully, and it was great. we got the patient to the medical care that he needed. but it was, it was a high dress, tense -- stress, tense higgs that we were doing because we wanted to win the hearts and minds and save lives. especially in a town that's so anti-u.s. military, let's show them we can do some good, right? so that story is a culmination of me following my passion and my dream and my heart and my calling. and it probably comes as no surprise the you guys that along that road there were a lot of people who tried to stop me from accomplishing that, either well-intentioned people who didn't think i could succeed and wanted me to be happy or didn't
think i was tough enough be or didn't think women should be in combat or think other reason. i never let anybody deter me from my path. and i faced a lot of doors smut in my face -- shut in my face. i had a reporter ask he how did you push through all that failure? it took me a minute, and they meant all the doors that were closed in my face. and i was liker oh, i never really thought of it as failure. i just thought of it as something that was hard or more me to accomplish my goal, and i think that's so important when you think about following your dreams. you know, i would challenge anybody, because people come to me for mentoring and, again, this crowd is it's kind of hard, but i would challenge think about who is having a mid-life crisis -- [laughter] i'll let you guess who i'm looking at over there. it's definitely not my husband. [laughter] i would challenge you to identify what stirs your soul
and what is your passion and then flick away the barriers and the negative people and the people who would demonize your goal and your dream and tell you it's wrong and explain why you can't or shouldn't do it and just flick those away, right? including the fear of failure. and the reason i picked this to talk about is because i think it's apublicking at any age. -- applicable at any age. when i have written this book and i've reached a lot of people, and i've gotten hundreds of e-mails from people across the country. and i've read -- i've never read one e-mail that said i really wanted to be a pilot, and i tried really hard, but my eyesight wasn't good enough. i couldn't make it, i aged out. not one. but i have gotten so many e-mails from people saying i really wanted to do what you did, but i was so afraid that i wasn't going to make it that i just didn't try. and then i got an e-mail from a woman who said i wanted to be a
combat search is and rescue helicopter pilot, and i wish i had read your booker you know, five years ago because i think maybe i could have done it. but i was so afraid i would be rejected and that i would fail, and what would that mean for me. but your book will sit on my shelf forever as a reminder to me of what could have happened, what could have been. and that broke my heart. my wish for you guys is that nobody, and nobody that y'all know is ever in that situation. because i think the most important thing to point out is at the end of her e-mail she told me i was 24 years old. i was selected for pilot training when i was 28. so do i reply and tell her, well, you still have four years, you can still do it. but giving up so early, so young, i just couldn't believe it. so i think i'm changing my message to don't let something like fear of rejection keep you from asking someone out, trying out a new dance move on the
floor, writing a book, you know, pursuing a career that you are afraid you're going to fail at. so what? i've failed at plenty of things. it doesn't say anything about you. so i think that's important. what i would say to her and i think i may craft this e-mail and reply back to her is some words of wisdom that i had heard recently. i heard fate rarely calls upon us at the hour of our choosing. and the person who said that to me in a very serious moment i asked, wow, you know, that is really deep. where did you hear that? like, who said that? he said, optimus prime. [laughter] so my favorite learning moment of that whole story is that inspiration is everywhere. [laughter] okay? it doesn't have to be in the book, but it can be this a children's car p toon. let's make sure that's what our kids are watching and that we glean those lessons from that too. inspiration's everywhere.
find what stirs your heart. follow your heart. flick the barriers away. don't let the negative people stop you and get out there ask change the world. thank you so much for coming. [applause] that's it. i hope you guys have some good q&a, because i think we're about to sit down and do that. are we going to do that now? okay, great. yes. >> i'm really excited about your book. i'm really excited about your book. >> thank you. >> your mother-in-law told me that a movie is also being made. what can you tell us about the movie? >> well, so i'm an introvert. i mean, like meyers briggs and a very private person, and i wrote a book about the history of rescue in afghanistan and women in combat that didn't get sold. [laughter]
and hi agent convinced me the only way i was going to get this story out was if i told my story. and under duress, and she promised me it would be a couple hundred books sold to my family and sit on the shelf in the air college x she lied. [laughter] six weeks after the book was sold, the movie rights were sold to tristar, and the book was written. and i was, like, crap. now i have to write the book or return this check. [laughter] so it just happened so fast. angelina jolie got attached to the project to play me. obviously. [laughter] i mean, i walk through the grocery store and i get mistaken for her all the time. [laughter] so the great thing about her being attached other than the fact that she's attached is that it started attracting this other talent, you know? and we got jason hall who's the guy who adapted american snipe. so very exciting about the
quality of the script, because it's very nerve wrack to hand your story over to someone and let them do whatever they want to it. they should be starting shooting around summer, but i'm not sure. yeah, thanks. and so questions are off limits, you guys. you know, this book -- >> [inaudible] >> thank you. appreciate that. this book deals with some really tough topics, so feel free to ask me the tough ones too. yeah, yes. >> who's going to play your mother, grace? [laughter] >> who was it that played in that how manymy dearest movie? [laughter] no, i don't know. that's probably going to be -- >> [inaudible] >> yes. so no, i was always picturing sally fields. >> meryl streep. >> yeah, meryl streep. jessica lang. yes with, i just love her. any be other questions? all softballs, that's great. >> you tell us what happened to
that so-called flight surgeon who examined you? >> i don't know what happened to him. so ken is talking about a story in the book where i was assaulted and was promised that that person would not practice medicine anymore and not to give away the book, but when i was trying to decide whether or not to stay in the air force or get out and join the guard, i got put up for an award. my boss was trying to keep me in the military, and he really valued me, and he put me up for this wing-level award for my group. and the people i was competing against were from three other groups. the medical group put him up, so he and i were competing existence each other for this wing-level award. so i assume he's off practicing. maybe he learned a big lesson because after the assault, he ran and told on himself in horror at his own actions. so maybe he, you know, was disgusted enough with himself
that he hasn't done it again, but i doubt it. yes, t.j. so much for the softball questions. [laughter] >> you mentioned go with what inspires you and such -- >> yes. >> and i was wondering over the last few years if there's been a group or anything that's inspired you and kept you going in the direction you want to go. [laughter] >> let's see. [laughter] well, i got my mba. [laughter] that might be what you're talking about. [applause] and there's my family and toastmasters. but i was part -- it's another legend, legendary, i was part of the best class ever -- [cheers and applause] [laughter] leadership austin is a great organization. i encourage you to google it if you don't know what it is and highly recommend you applying for it. so, yes.
>> is there anything about the book reception that's surprised you? >> is there anything about the book's resense that has surprised you? >> the success of it has surprised me greatly, and i don't mean to sound ungrateful, because i think there's so many people who would kill for an opportunity to do this. i'm very grateful. but i think if i had known it would be so successful, i don't know if i could have done it. but i will say this, throughout my life anything that scares me, and a lot of it is the abuse that my family and i suffered at the hands of my biological father, anytime something scares me, i confront it. you want to know the thing that scares me the most out of everything? public speaking. [laughter] so when something scares me, i just want to punch it in the face. but the success of the book has been very surprising, yeah. >> hi. i'm curious if when the gentleman that was protesting you all getting the water, if that was really an accident that
200-plus -- >> it was. it was a total accident, and i guess i didn't articulate it well or maybe it's part of what i skipped. reese was forwarding the controls, and the dump switch is on the collective. so as i was raising the collective and he was kind of watching everything, he hit it with his palm. he didn't fess be up immediately, but it was like a few minutes later, he was like, it was me. [laughter] so-reese, yeah. >> i guess my question is, and i haven't read your book, so i do apologize about that. you talk about the brotherhood and sisterhood of your unit, and, you know, the idea that, you know, women should serve in combat, you know, and get that recognition as well. are you -- what would you hope for the military, any branch, to understand that, you know, in certain branches women are just as equal as men, but for some reason -- in yeah. >> -- the perception isn't always that way. so what would you have to say to that? >> you know, i think that
there's a lot of people who don't understand how the military works. and this is a lot of pointing to facts they're repeating that aren't exactly -- they're out of context. so, for example, there's a physical fitness it's that is designed to judge how healthy you are. now, a healthy 18-year-old female is going to look very different than a healthy 55-year-old male to include weight, blood pressure, number of push-ups, those types of things, okay? everyone, no matter what your job is, gets this test. it's really, they don't talk about it, but it's really the way the military can tell how much you're going to cost them in health benefits later. really. and then, you know, it flexes and changes sometimes, right? but that standard will probably always be different x i'm fine with that because i don't want to stop some, you know, young lady who maybe can't even do a push-up, because i've seen that before, who wants to work on
paperwork or be a supply troop and wants to wear the uniform. i don't want to sop stop her from doing that by saying everyone should have to meet the standard of a navy seal, right? however, there is ool physical fitness standard that is to get into a different job, so to get into a different school to be able to do this mos or asc or whatever your branch is, right? and i think those standards should be the same. so if it takes this many push-ups, walk with this pack or march, whatever you these to do to do this job, then you have to do that to do the job. i don't understand why that's controversial. >> right. and i completely agree. my husband and i are both marines, so we have this conversation going back and forth, and he totally supports women in -- >> if they can do the job. >> exactly. >> here's the thing. have you ever seen a man who can't do the job? because i have. >> plenty. >> maybe fewer. >> exactly. >> but if someone can do the job, they should get the chance. >> exactly.
>> there are ethnicities that are stereotypically smaller framed or good at this or bad at that. stereotypically. and many people may even meet those stereotypes. but we don't make decisions about what opportunities to give to those people based off those stereotypes even if they match the stereotype. we say go for it, give it a try. and if you hold those prejudices, then you get surprised. bob marley said that he hoped people would look at skin color the way they look at eye color: you're always going to see the difference, but you're not going to make a judgment about the difference. i recognize you have blue eyes, that doesn't say anything about it. and i hope we can get there with gender. i get told that all the time, it's so amazing what you've done, but it's even more amazing because you're a woman. unless they mean because i faced certain barriers, i'll accept that compliment, but otherwise that's a backhanded insult. so surprised you were so brave under fire. i've seen plenty of women brave under fire.
i've seen plenty of men brave under fire. and i've seen women i wouldn't go back in with and aye seen men that i did refuse to go back into combat with. i said i'm not going anywhere with him on my wing again. so, yeah. >> hi. >> hi. >> so in the military i'm sure you had many who supported you and many who opposed you. what would you say was your most surprising, unlikely person of support or source of support in the military? >> yes. i would say 99% of the people were supportive. the first iteration of the script that came out for the movie was this female heroine fighting the military discriminatory machine, and i said i don't know if i can veto, but if i can, that's not going to the screen with my name on it because the men be i served with, i have so much respect for. there is, you know, the very
small number that tried to stop me. and somebody said to me tonight, i'm surprised things haven't changed since my time in the military. is and i said i think things have changed. it's still there, but it's so fewer people, and that's great, i think. the allture of -- culture of tolerance is still there, so so that kind of sucks. i will say, but there's a character in the book named doug, that's not his real name, who really genuinely didn't want me in his squadron because i was a woman. but he wasn't a, like, stereotypically chauvinist, he was just -- i have so much respect for him. he was an older army pilot who was one of the best pilots i've ever known. don't tell him i said that. and i really wanted toen his respect, you know? and it was heartbreaking every time he kind of dismissed me. and it always seemed like every stupid thing i did, i'd look up, is and he was standing right there. i swear. i mean, i did stupid things like i was watching an aircraft, you
know, taxi in, fly in and then land and taxi, and i was really interested in what was going on, and i was in full gear because we were going to do a hot swap, the rotors were still turning, and i was looking and looking, and i bumped my head on the window. and i turned and looked x there's doug. he's like -- [laughter] oh, my god. i just couldn't believe every time i did something like that, it was in front of him. another time i was running out to the aircraft, and he goes -- i'm going to mess this up. he's like slow is safe and safe is fast, m.j. because i'm running and we don't need to run. take the extra ten seconds and walk fast, right? and i was like, yeah, whatever. and and i totally slipped on the rocks. and my checklist and pages went everywhere, and it was just -- i was, like, why? always in front of him. [laughter] maybe it was because it was in front of him. but i, we got shot down, we defended our perimeter. i was the only person who returned fire that day.
and some of the guys, the other aircraft especially didn't perform that well. and the next time i bumped into him, he was chewing his unlit cigar and he looked at me and said, you did good, kid. and that meant more to me than all the medals in the world. i think he still doesn't think women should serve. [laughter] so that was surprising. >> hi, mary. >> yes. >> so since you joined the military til now in your crusade to have women be more involved in combat -- >> have the opportunity -- >> have the opportunity, how much has the needle moved? >> a lot. so the validating thing about this fight for me was i took an oath to support and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. and i thought that this policy was a threat, a domestic threat. and the reason is i was in combat, and i saw the impact of the policy.
so without going too academic, the policy was intended to keep women out of ground combat. it didn't. what it did do is keep women from being assigned to jobs whose primary role it was to take ground combat to the enemy. but commanders in the field needed to use women in those jobs anyway. they needed women to go in with the bad ass is -- asses into the towns and private councils to pat down the women to make sure they weren't wearing suicide vests. there's just sometimes -- sometimes your best marksman is a woman. you can't use them because you can't assign them into those roles. what they would do is rotate them out every 45 days and attach them to units that they didn't know the people in those unit, you know? and there's nothing worse -- well, there's probably things worse -- than going into combat with someone who you don't know, you don't know how they've trained, how they're going to
respond, you don't know their strengths and weaknesses. you can't anticipate what they're going to do, you know? me and my crew, i knew we were just like we would talk over each other, but we were running a checklist simultaneously. it was a beautiful thing. and when you go into combat with people you don't have that with, it's dangerous. so i worked to get that policy repealed is so that we could have all those jobs open by default and we could close the ones, if kneaded, that needed to be closed whereas before with the policy all jobs were default closed, and you had to work hard to get them open if you needed to open them, right? the joints chiefs of staff unanimously recommended to the secretary of defense that he repeal the policy. so it wasn't my lawsuit and me against the military and i was, you know, it wasn't like that. it was like all of us were on the same page and fighting for the strength and military effectiveness of the military that we loved, and it was just very, very satisfying. >> i'd also like to make a comment about your mother. i met her about -- >> i would too.
[laughter] >> and i'm sure you have. [laughter] i met her about 18 years ago, first meeting at toastmasters, and she was asked to get up to speak. and she spoke for approximately 10 seconds, and she said, i can't do this. she sat back down. now, as people -- >> so inspiring. >> -- you can't shut her up. [laughter] she travels around the world speaking, and you are such a personification of her. >> thank you. [applause] hi mom joined toastmasters, and that was her first ice breaker, and they gave her a round of applause and empowered her, and she rose to the level of district governor. so if public speaking scares you too, join toastmaster. >> do you know is the pay, is that public so everybody can see it, and do you know if it's equal? >> yes, pay is by rank. but there are hazardous duty pay and combat duty pay and stuff like that. it's really more the opportunity. it's the, you know, you're not going to be chief of staff of
the army if you haven't served in combat and been a commander in combat. i could be wrong. but that's my impression. definitely certain branches you have to be a combat warrior to rise to the heights of that branch, and that's how it should be. you should know the price of the decisions that you make, you know? so it was about freeing the hands of the commanders, it was about opening opportunities secondarily so that women could get credit for the things that they were doing x it was about doubling the candidate pool for some of these jobs and raising the bar, you know? you're going to get a better candidate. even if they select all men, they had twice as many people applying and completing, then -- competing, then they got a better candidate, you know? and i didn't fully answer -- does that answer your question? i didn't fully answer the number of opportunities that opened, secretary carter announced there wouldn't be any exceptions, and there have been female graduates of some of the really, you know, tough, tough schools. they had female rangers graduate. i don't know if they got assigned yet. >> [inaudible] >> other countries do. the seals came out and said when
they were in their research phase about whether or not they were going to allow women into these roles, the seals were one of the first that came out and said we're not going to say that women can't be seals, and then it was kind of hard for anyone else to make a case that they did want to close it to women. [laughter] yeah, yeah. any other questions? yes, eric. >> hey -- >> yacht -- got the mic. >> i was actually fortunate enough in my experience to have a c.o. and oic that was a female, and i don't think everybody a had that experience. >> yeah. >> actually, you've introduced a new, the apft was, like, basically a concept of to, like, meeting insurance needs. i'd never actually thought of that, but that's -- it even educated me. >> it's a basic health -- >> yeah. >> you know? >> so actually my question was so even from these female c.o.s and oics, they it would me -- and that was a little bit before you.
the i guess excuse that was given to me was that the emotional, if a female dies in a unit -- >> yes. >> -- the emotional response from it is significantly worse than if a heal dies. >> right. >> so i wondered what your thoughts were on that -- >> yes, i have thoughts on that. [laughter] i'm eager to to share them. [laughter] i think that that is a very real concern, but it makes a lot of assumptions, o.k.? it depends on the woman. okay? when you are charged with protecting someone weaker than you whether it's an official charge or there's a movie coming out with jennifer lawrence -- that's why she's not doing mymovie -- [laughter] where she's a combat photographer embedded with a marine unit, and something happens to her, and they show the toll it takes on the marines. because she wasn't a combat-trained warrior and she was a woman and she was with
them, they felt protective of her. so when you put women and men in the combat and the way the policy made you do it where you threw them in, and nobody knows if they're, you know, going to be tough or what, you have that problem. you have other problems too, unit cohesion problems, men competing for dating, all the problems that you hear about when you have that type of situation. those things didn't happen to me because of a couple things. first of all, i didn't put up with the competing for my affection x that happened quickly, and i put an end to that quickly early on. and i think that's a leadership issue, and that's a mentoring issue, and we need to make sure that our young women understand that, okay? it's also let's hold our young men to a high standard.
so i would say if you are charge of taking care of some elite or the neo-commie you are devastated and then have ends. when you have an animal you are in charge of taking care of your fewer devastated when you let something happen to the animal. if you are taking care of like an elderly parent for your not me. i'm cracking jokes, but the point is if you have charge of
someone there's people i take care of them carry the groceries than for them. i don't know who those people are. not you. now if you i teach my kids chivalry. but if you are shoulder to shoulder someone and you have venus williams and justin bieber over here, you are going to feel more dirt because he's the national honor anything she can handle herself. when i wish i had one all over me. nobody wants to defend peer i had blood all over me. the fact it was the one hand but it triggered this ultra- masculine chivalry and it didn't. in fact, my gunner turned to me when one of her patients -- when started getting hysterical which made another one a little upset. one was a one-man was a one-man, one was meant and he turned to me and said this is why they
shouldn't let women in on convoys. first of all, that's gratis so comfortable with me that he thinks he can say that and not get shot because he was very heavily armed at the time. he didn't finish the money needed to protect. i was covered in blood and a new iceland and i myself find. we trained together and ate, slept on iowa said showers can we did not shower together. it's all how you integrate people in his units. i don't think you have the problem of the emotional problem of seeing a woman her. i submit that what i saw a lot of people her. probably the most devastated person i saw was in oda guy whose best buddy had been hit and his best buddy was the medic. unfortunately he was said and we all have this combat first aid. that doesn't do anything. he was in the back of the aircraft with the soldier who
expired and it is heart wrenching hearing him, the sounds he was making bawling over his brother. when you get close to people in a losing combat it will affect you emotionally. the fact that they are women -- i don't want to take too long i miss. let's say that it's true. let's face the women hurt or killed is too much for them to handle. we limit opportunities for women because of how the other half of the population is going to be a or do we focus on giving them the tools to deal with that. we are not a country built legislative half of our population. women are strong and they don't need legislative protection. we would never legislate women can walk down a dark alley at 3:00 in the morning. we don't live in the middle east where countries demand you have an escort or some they might
not. [applause] >> you are a great storyteller. speenine thank you. i get that from her. you've talked a lot about things during your time in the military. can you talk about what it is like for men versus women after the military come out of society treat those people different way or not? >> is going to say it's not different, but it really is. the only differences i've seen are one of the women would that ptsd quicker than men. practice a couple things. mips use the data because there was a limit experience ptsd were often. i say no, i raised my hand and said i gave him my career because all my crew was like you do it. and i didn't have the ego, not that all men have been ego, that
there is a rating of plus to pair up with women. i would go and talk to a counselor and i would come back at me with say, what is she safe? can you tell her you're having a stream about the tiger in the mall. and let you know. if you ptsd, you need to talk to someone. that is one difference. female veterans get treated differently. having experienced this, but when female veterans claim ptsd, there is a couple people in the va they didn't believe them and dignified manner disability rating because there is some kind of legislation and they didn't believe -- they looked at their job title and said you were supplied. you got ptsd. i was supplied turkish ied that i fire back and save the lives for the stories go on and on, but they have a hard time believing that.
anything posted on the internet women veterans park in combat veteran spies that are designated a military friendly towns and getting nasty notes on their window saying how dare you park on the spot reserved for a nation zero spare the woman is like i'm sorry, you meant the men. so that's unfortunate. i purple clay targets because he gets me free parking at the airport pa people think my husband for service all the time. he has the greatest response. he's always like you're welcome. [laughter] so i guess we get treated a little differently. >> will you do if one of your beautiful children says they want to go into a life or death job like you done? >> you know, i think i would tell them to drop and start doing push-ups first because it is what i told joe when she told me she wanted to be a marine.
he heard live i joined the statement may step daughter came and said she wanted to be marine asset stop and do some push-ups i spent now on your knuckles. now one hand. he now come a couple weeks later she came to me in tears and said why would you let me think i could be a marine. and i was like what kind of question is that? what do you mean? she said you didn't tell me that was just for boys. that's the bush job. an adult in her life told her that. i said that's not true. i'm going to do something about that, but i don't know what yet. as all fired up in the next day the aclu called method would you like to join our suit? absolutely. it's going to be really hard. you could get some people that hate you. let's do it because i didn't want her to grow up enough. i can't believe it's 2012 and somebody was telling her that.
so i would assess, going back to your question, i would assess the strength and weaknesses of a specific shape. if i don't think they are happy in that role, i'm going to support them, but i'm probably going to educate them on what it means to be inoperable. if one of my kids is an adrenaline junkie like me who were coming in now with the bonaventure rock that can handle themselves that their range, then i think i'd be comfortable with it. i don't know if that's all he answers your question. i just want them to live a fulfilled life. go where your colleague, where where you are drawn. >> i noticed in looking for the book but there are some black as senate. i those voluntary or required? >> it's a voluntary process to signature manuscript the d.o.t.
i talk about survival training and i take that seriously. and i want to make sure i didn't present a minute that was classified or that would put our troops at risk. they came back with the reductions that i thought were so ridiculous. i used a couple codewords in there that were intended to confuse the enemy but i was iffy about can i use that and they didn't care about that. they wanted to black out the name even though he's a physical therapist in san antonio now. whatever they chose come i could have thought it, but it would have pushed the publication date of birth or my publicist was likely that. people like to see reductions. at least it proves they did the steps, which a lot of people getting in trouble for writing books, the navy seals didn't do that process.
>> you been emphasizing over and over again about different last-in finishes the military has brought to light in our country. additionally speaking where to point in a country of my coworkers with the military seem to find a friend or a bright people in parts of society. you see a segment is in a verdict of the way space-bar lessons can can we take from the military to apply to the issues we have going on right now? >> for example there is this up or about how it's going to disrupt cohesion and we shouldn't force people into this and the leaders went sorry, we are doing it anyway. they've done the same thing repealing "don't ask, don't tell" in integrating and letting people come on and they've been very supportive mostly of the senior leaders of the kind of situation. the lessons we can learn a ceos and senior leaders and corporations this change
management would tell us stop or something down everybody's throat. get away with it in the military because people are told to do what they're told into a great extent that well, even if they do it begrudgingly. it is not boring to them. i'd like to to see a little bit of change management have been. when people are ill angry and don't want to see it, just do it. people get over it and they're not talking about it again and the lesson i take from that. does that answer your question? i knew it would be hard when coming from you. >> :-colon-mark questioning. >> you guys mostly all know how to get ahold of me if you have questions you >> talk about the military and how it changed the 21st century military unlettered idea
of what the military is asymmetrical warfare with technology. how is that when you entered and how is it now? >> a lot of people want to make law, situation about the standards a lot of times where women aren't as strong as men and i'm fond of saying when the taliban was encroaching on our perimeter, they were going to say who can get the most push-ups and that person can go. so it's not as much as a hand-to-hand combat. i'm not going to stand up and say being able to be incredibly physically strong is not a very critical aspect of being a combat warrior. it is. i've seen people have to flex. you could make the argument pilots don't have to be ready for ground combat. i used to get teased and made fun of for how often i cleaned and maintained weapons. i mean there could a mammoth amount of time.
steve's guide jampacked day. i'm like one of our one on mine? i think the thought people in this and more about the ability to think on your feet and make tactical and understand. this is survival. as a judge or a large group of people a survival training. if you don't take your whole group. no one wants to go to the super bowl with a team full of quarterbacks. you could argue having a good quarterback is most important into a football team. you could argue that the most important thing, but he wants to go to team full of quarterbacks? what future achievements to your same as getting sued. finding water. your strength is navigation. really get the most out of your team. if one person is a nice good at hand-to-hand combat, and he still had to scale the wall with
a full pack if you get infiltrated to the wrong place and have to reposition to a new place. there's an element you always have to maintain a level of physical fit us. the reason the question is so relevant is when we talk about enders. yes there needs to be one standard, but the standard shouldn't be arbitrarily high. there are certain jobs that take real pride in the fact that no women can meet standards or something like that. i get up, i do. tell me what the job requirements are. tell me what you want the person to accomplish them they are going to be lofty goals should be to maintain early status. but when you say you need to pull a 200-pound unconscious marine from a flip over and map on fire, you know what the task should eat that you can identify the people who do not? pull a 200-pound dummy. whatever it is decided standard.
don't say 15 poets equates to being able to pull the marine. we've all watched american ninja warriors and little gymnast browse through other standards. would she be old to do that? i don't know. i do resent the standards for push-ups and poets and say that equates to job specific standards. keep the standards high, not arbitrarily so. make sure their jobs pacific and everybody needs them. that is my goal. [applause] >> hey, mj. clearly you have kids in a family to take care of. what is your next challenger what is coming next? will you continue to be involved in this mission? >> probably a good lead scares me so much. prepare for the zombie apocalypse is my next spring. i'm not really sure. i'm really focused on parenting. i have a two and a half old going back to work from
maternity leave. i'm thinking i want to move to france or somewhere and it is on maternity leave. parenting is my next challenge. i want my kids to grow up not sheltered, but not terrified. how do i walk that line and show them how lucky they are to live in a country with big-screen tvs and cell phones. this will separate. don't get me wrong. i was exposed and to the real saffron in our country and not let them be sheltered but not doing away with it, dated like i am. i want them to not be so terrified. i want them to grow up optimistic. to live in a cabin in the woods when a backup routine a wire like i am. i encourage you guys if you're into the panic that i was
telling after the reading, i'd like for you to go to my twitter and click on the youtube video because there is more to the story i didn't share because i didn't want bring everybody down. it's a beautiful story then that you are the people who are involved in that way by spreading the word and letting people know there's more to the story. an 11 minute tape talk on the top of my twitter feed at side mj hater. thank you for coming out and blown away by the support. i really appreciate it. thank you so much. [applause] >> before everybody starts to get up, since there's so many of us, i want to make this as efficient and safe as possible. the line is going to start here for the signing and i will go around the store case and wrap around the staircase would not block the stairs. once again from the start here and wrap around the staircase.
also, i know a lot of you know her, that if you want your book personalized, tell us so we can write it on a sticky note are the sake of efficiency. please just tell us your name. we appreciate it. >> i have an intense though i haven't slept the whole lot. thank you, guys. [applause] found not [inaudible conversations]
>> washington spent more time in new jersey than in the others date during the revolution and the sammy spent a lot of time here. the important thing to him was to keep the revolution going and keep the army in the field. i believe new jersey and general contract and in particular was very instrumental in helping accomplish that goal.